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Survival analysis of hypotensive cats admitted to an intensive care unit with or without hyperlactatemia: 39 cases (2005–2011)

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  • 1 Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • | 2 Department of Graduate Education, Leadership and Counseling, Rider University, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648.
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To examine the association between blood lactate concentration and survival to hospital discharge in critically ill hypotensive cats.

DESIGN Retrospective case series.

ANIMALS 39 cats admitted to an intensive care unit of a university veterinary hospital between January 2005 and December 2011 for which blood lactate concentration was recorded ≤ 1 hour before or after a Doppler-derived arterial blood pressure measurement ≤ 90 mm Hg (ie, hypotension) was obtained.

PROCEDURES Medical records of each cat were reviewed to assess survival to hospital discharge, illness severity, duration of hospitalization, age, body weight, and PCV. Results were compared between hypotensive cats with and without hyperlactatemia (blood lactate concentration ≥ 2.5 mmol/L).

RESULTS 6 of 39 (15%) hypotensive cats survived to hospital discharge. Twelve (31%) cats were normolactatemic (blood lactate concentration < 2.5 mmol/L), and 27 (69%) were hyperlactatemic. Hypotensive cats with normolactatemia had a higher blood pressure and higher survival rate than hypotensive cats with hyperlactatemia. Five-day Kaplan-Meier survival rates were 57% for normolactatemic cats and 17% for hyperlactatemic cats. Age, body weight, duration of hospitalization, PCV, and illness severity did not differ significantly between hypotensive cats with and without hyperlactatemia.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Hypotensive, normolactatemic cats in an intensive care unit had a significantly greater chance of survival to hospital discharge than their hyperlactatemic counterparts. Blood lactate concentration may be a useful prognostic indicator for this patient population when used in conjunction with other clinical and laboratory findings.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Silverstein (dcsilver@vet.upenn.edu).